The Borders is about to go cycle crazy as the Tour of Britain Cycle Race and the Tesco Bank Tour o’ the Borders both hit the region’s roads this Sunday, September 3.
Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for business and economic development, Councillor Mark Rowley, said: “Excitement is building as both the Tour of Britain and Tour o’ the Borders approach.
“With Kelso featuring prominently in the Tour of Britain’s first stage, we have provided 2,500 pupils in the Kelso and Jedburgh areas with Tour of Britain water bottles to encourage them to come out with their families and watch these world class cyclists in action.”
Kelso Wheelers Cycling Club junior member Gregor Forbes, said: “I am really looking forward to seeing some of the best cyclists in the world in Kelso. The club has lots of events on in the run up to Sunday so it is going to be an exciting week.”
Paul Bush, VisitScotland director of events, added: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and the Scottish Borders will provide a spectacular backdrop for spectators and riders alike on the opening stage of this year’s OVO Energy Tour of Britain.
Spectators wanting to watch Stage One of the Tour of Britain in the Scottish Borders are spoilt for choice.
As well as hosting the stage finish, Kelso will also see the race pass through earlier in the day at the start of a 79km loop which brings the riders back for the final kilometre. This means spectators can see the race twice and enjoy entertainment in the town in between such as live coverage of the race on a big screen and the tour’s promotional village. Free parking will be available at Springwood Park close to the finish line.
The Eisberg Sprint in Coldstream High Street (around 1.05pm) and the SKODA King of the Mountains location at the top of Scott’s View (2.30pm) will be great viewing opportunities too. Parking restrictions will be in place around Scott’s View but a free shuttle bus will operate from Earlston and Dryburgh Abbey Hotel to ferry spectators to what will undoubtedly be a highlight of Stage One.
Another sprint in Melrose (2.45pm) will be closely followed by a SKODA King of the Mountains climb on Dingleton Road (2.47pm).
Timings of the OVO Tour of Britain Cycle. Lead cars will arrive:
Cranshaws - 12.04pm
Duns - 12.25pm
Coldstream - 12.49pm (Sprint 2 1.05pm)
Birgham - 12.58pm
Kelso (first time) - 1.09pm
Stichill - 1.21pm
Gordon - 1.42pm
Smailholm - 1.55pm
Bemersyde - 2.13pm
Scotts View - 2.15pm
Gattonside - 2.24pm
Melrose - 2.27pm (Sprint 3)
Maxton - 2.46pm
Kelso - 3.05pm
Finish is at Roxburgh Street, Kelso.
Activities and events will be available in The Square, Kelso, on the Sunday, between 11am and 2pm, including The Great British Bike Off at 2pm when teams compete to see who can use the most energy by cycling on stationary Wattbikes.
For full estimated timings etc go to: www.scotborders.gov.uk/tourofbritain.